D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Records


Asheville Housing Authority booklet, "Our Community - Civic Redevelopment," 
in Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, N.C., Records, Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNCA

Title Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, N.C ., Records
Alt Title Housing Authority , City of Asheville Records [Shortened version of above title, sometimes used when referring to the lead agency responsible for the records.]
Al Title Asheville Housing Authority [An informal and shorter variant of the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, NC., often used by staff and by contractors and others working with the department.]
Alt. Title Asheville Urban Renewal Files [An unofficial designation used by some parties to refer to the collection of records, largely related to NC R-48 and NC R-13.]
Alt. Title HACA [Shortened version of Housing Authority of the City of Asheville]
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/housing_authority_city_asheville/default_haca.htm
Creator Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, Planning and Development Department
Subject Keyword East End, Asheville ; Southside, Asheville ; East Riverside, Asheville ; East Riverside redevelopment ; Civic Redevelopment Project ; Asheville Redevelopment Commission ; Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, N.C. ; Asheville, NC ; housing authorities ; urban renewal ; city planning ; gentrification ; eminent domain ; maps ; streets ; roads ; gardens ; African-Americans ; community ; Southside ; Model Cities ; greenways ; Y.M.C.A. ; Y.W.C.A. ; social services ; NC R-48 ; NC R-13 ; Mountain Housing Opportunities ; City-County Plaza ; Marjorie Scavella ; municipal government ; politics and government ; highway planning ; apartments ; housing ; real property ; economic conditions ; land use ; economics ; urban planning ; civic improvement ; slums ; low income housing ; urban poor ; Asheville Model Cities Program ; Depot Street  ; Livingston Street ; Montford, NC ;
Subject LCSH African Americans -- Housing -- History -- 20th century
Apartment houses -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Asheville (N.C.) -- History
Asheville (N.C.) -- Economic conditions
Asheville (N.C.) -- Politics and government
Asheville (N.C.) -- Planning
City and town life -- United States -- History -- 20th century
City planning -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Civic improvement -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Highway planning -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Housing -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Housing authorities
Housing authorities -- United States -- States
Housing policy -- United States
Land use, Urban -- United States
Land use, Urban -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Low-income housing -- Government policy -- United States
Municipal government -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Municipal services -- North Carolina Asheville (N.C.)
Real property -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Traffic engineering -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Urban policy -- United States
Urban policy -- North Carolina
United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
United States -- Race relations
Urban poor -- Housing
Urban poor -- Statistics
Urban renewal -- North Carolina -- Asheville
  ** See also: Master list of possible subject headings to be used with HACA projects
Description This collection consists of nearly 130 linear feet (129 cartons) of administrative records for  Asheville’s Redevelopment Commission dating from around 1958 to 1970, as well as the official records of Asheville’s Housing Authority from the late 1940s to the 1990s.  The records in this collection pertain primarily to several significant redevelopment projects undertaken by Asheville from the early 1960s to the mid-1980s.  Also represented to a lesser extent are smaller development and redevelopment projects, as well as several housing projects and bridge projects. 

In general project records include standard planning documents such as project area maps, a survey of the existing structures in the project area, the redevelopment plan, appraisal reports, and ownership data.  Also included are general project administrative documents such as correspondence, contracts, reports, news clippings, and summary documents.  In addition to general administration files and planning documents are several series pertaining to the acquisition, disposal, or rehabilitation of individual parcels, as well as the relocation of individual occupants.  

The collection is currently being processed and some sections have not been thoroughly examined.  Consequently information about the collection and the activities it documents are not fully known and described at this time. Several series containing sensitive information are closed to all researchers (faculty, students, public) while retention and privacy laws are being researched by library staff.  

The records of the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville were acquired by UNCA in July 2007, and the legal transfer of ownership occurred on October 16, 2007 when the Asheville City Council approved the transfer of the material files and photographs and provided a subsidy for the processing of the collection.  Since then, additional materials were identified and acquired in 2008 and it is anticipated that additions to the collection will be forthcoming.

A GENERAL HISTORY OF EARLY URBAN RENEWAL IN ASHEVILLE outlines rationale and the early years of planning for renewal projects (largely the Civic Redevelopment Project and the East Riverside Project)  but does not address all the revisions that have occurred from the mid-1970s forward.

Publisher Special Collections, D. H. Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Contributor United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Alt.  contributor Mountain Housing Opportunities ; Asheville Planning and Development Department
Date original Date of collection:  1950's- 1990's
Date digital Date digital: 2007-08-14
Type Collection ; Text ; Images ;
Format (extent) 128.5 linear ft. (139 cartons)
Source M2007.12.01-117 ; OS2007.12.01.01   D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, Manuscript Collections
Language English
Relation Is part of:  Housing Authority of the City of Asheville [HACA] ; Is related to: East Riverside Photographs, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNCA ; Map Asheville, http://gis.ashevillenc.gov/mapasheville/developmentmapper/ ; Heritage of Black Highlanders Collection, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNCA ; Emergency Relief in North Carolina. A Record of the Development and the Activities of the North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration, 1932-1935. North Carolina Emergency Relief Commission, State Administrator, Mrs. Thomas O'Berry. Edited by J. S. Kirk, Walter A. Cutter [and] Thomas W. Morse by North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration, Documenting the American South, UNC Chapel Hill ;  Prosser, Julian Branson.  Two city managers in Asheville, North Carolina : politics, administration and policy formulation.  [S.l. : s.n.] 1972, iv, 110 leaves ; 28 cm. (Thesis (M.P.A.)--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) UNCA SPEC COLL JS548.A8 P76 1972 ; Asheville Model Cities Records, M2005.11.1-2, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNCA ; "Improving the Quality of Urban Life, [HT177 .A85 1974] Spec Coll, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNCA ; Asheville Model Cities Commission Mid Year Planning Statement ; PUBLICATIONS List is part of HACA ; For excellent GIS maps that orient you to contemporary Asheville, see : http://gis.ashevillenc.gov/mapAsheville/map.asp ;
Coverage temporal  1950's-1990's ;
Coverage spatial  Asheville, NC
Rights Collection is open and available for research though some series are restricted and closed to all researchers until private legal and financial information can be screened. Any copyright interest in materials contained within this collection have not been transferred to UNCA and therefore remain with the original copyright holders or their descendents as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Donor 310 ;  City of Asheville, NC.
Acquisition 2007-07-20 (onsite) ; official transfer from City of Asheville, Council to UNCA, October 16, 2007 ; Addendum February 2012 (Civic Center and Montford area material)
Citation Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Records, Special Collections, D. H. Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Processed by Special Collections staff, 2007; 2008; 2009 ; 2010 ; 2011 ;2012
Last update 2007-08-14 ; 2007-09-30 ; 2008-01-25 ; 2008-02-24 ;2008-8-11 ; 2008-9-11 ; 2012-03-05 hw

  Time Line
  Glossary   [See also: HUD Acronyms ]
  Selected Urban Studies Titles held by UNCA
  URBAN STUDIES JOURNAL TITLES held by UNCA (electronic access and paper copy) Library Resources - Periodicals - Urban Studies Titles
(Historical & Biographical notes)

Housing Authority of the City of Asheville.  Over time this agency has taken on several different names. The original agency, the Asheville Redevelopment Commission, was officially merged with the Housing Authority in 1971, although they had shared a common director and project staff for several years prior to the merger. [Note:  The name of this agency seems to have been the same since its inception; however the name Asheville Housing Authority is often used as an informal or shorter name.  This informal name is generally used by non-agency staff, such as contractors or private citizens, as well as agency staff and other city employees on internal docs and memos.] Today the agency is officially referred to as the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville  (HACA).

The records contained in this collection are those primarily concerned with what the city and public referred to as 'redevelopment projects'. The redevelopment projects fall under the general rubric of 'urban renewal', hence the frequent reference to the files as 'urban renewal' files. The largest volume of  records in this collection are those from Asheville's  East Riverside (Southside) Urban Redevelopment Project (NC R-48) and from the Civic Redevelopment Project (NC R-13).

The records from the Housing Authority City of Asheville were transferred to UNCA by the Asheville Planning and Development Department with the assistance of  Mountain Housing Opportunities, in July 2007, and  formal transfer occurred October 16, 2007 when the Asheville City Council officially approved the transfer of the material files and photographs and provided a subsidy for the processing of the collection.


This brief historical note is not comprehensive for the Housing Authority collection and it is recommended that users continue to visit the site for updates and for additional material descriptions in FULL TEXT.

Brief descriptions are planned for each of the Projects. See Project for those completed to date.

  What is "Eminent Domain" ? Basically the term refers to the Fifth Amendment added to the Constitution of the United States that gives to the state the right to take private property for public use. Any taking requires that just compensation be made.

See also the following sites for information on "eminent domain."
Eminent domain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
eminent domain: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article ..
Eminent Domain at FindLaw

The Housing Authority of the City of Asheville collection is currently organized into two general administrative series:

1.)  Redevelopment Commission
2.)  Housing Authority

The organization also includes numerous series relating to specific redevelopment and other Housing Authority projects and two media series (Reference Materials not published by the Housing Authority and Photographic Media not associated with specific project files)

*Note that the collection is currently being processed and the final arrangement will most likely be somewhat different than the current arrangement.

Many publications were produced by the City planning agencies, by the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, by the state of North Carolina, and by the federal agencies associated with HUD and urban redevelopment across the country.  Many of these publications provide an excellent entry into the complex and difficult processes of urban redevelopment projects. The following represent some of the key publications that will help the user to understand specific projects, as well as the back-ground for many of the projects.  Many of the publications are available in FULL TEXT, and others are underway or are planned for transcription so they may be searched using our custom "Google" search engine. Please advise us of publications you wish to see in FULL TEXT.  Your suggestions will help us to prioritize the large number of items awaiting digitization.
PUBLICATIONS Publications Derived From and Related to the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville.  Many are in FULL TEXT and all are listed by DATE OF PUBLICATION.
Box numbers Series

Note:   Box and/or Series identified as RESTRICTED are closed to all researchers until processing is completed.  At this time (2009-05-30) very few boxes remain restricted.

 Box 1

Redevelopment Commission files, ca. 1958-1970.  1.0 linear feet


Administrative files

Boxes 2-11

Housing Authority of the City of Asheville general files, 1967-1990s.  11.0 linear ft.


Asheville Housing Authority (AHA) Administrative files, ca. 1970-1990.


AHA Rehabilitation Assistance program files, 1984-1990s. (restricted)


AHA Social worker's case files, 1968-1972. (restricted)
Boxes 12-15 Asheville Downtown Commercial Complex project files, 1980-1982.  4.0 linear ft.
12-13 Administrative files
14 Ownership data files and Appraisal reports
15 Appraisal files
Boxes 16-21 Civic Redevelopment project files, 1960-1975.  6.0 linear ft.     [NC R13]
16-17 Administrative files
18 Appraisal files
19-21 Acquisition
22-24 EMPTY [New accretion 2011 to add here - 3 boxes]
Boxes 25-42 East End/Valley Street project files, ca. 1971-late 1980s.  19.0 linear ft.
25-26 Administrative files
27-38 Acquisition files
39-40A Disposal files
41-42 Relocation files (restricted)
Boxes 43-114 East Riverside project files, 1965-1981.  71.0 linear ft.     [NC R-48]
43-53 Administrative files, 1965-1981
Loose Photographs (black and white) from Box 44
Aerial Photographs from Box 44
Color slides ; (movie theater?) ; undated
54-55 EMPTY
56-77 Acquisition files, 1967-1976
  Photographs Associated with Acquisition Block and Parcel Files
78-79 Acquisition Appraisal files, 1966-1971
80-90 Disposal files
91-101 Rehabilitation loan & grants files (restricted)
102-109 Relocation files (restricted)
110 Reuse Appraisal files
111-114 Street & Site improvement contract files
Boxes 115-116 Montford Project Files, ca. 1978-1993.  2.0 linear ft.

Head of Montford project files (Includes the area bounded by Montford Avenue on the West, Short Street on the east, Bearden Street n the North, and Cherry Street on the South.)

Montford Complex project files

Randolph Elementary School project files (relocation files partially restricted)

Box 117A-B South Pack Square/Pack Plaza Redevelopment Project files, 1969-1994.     2.0 linear ft.


Boxes 118-119 NC 7-5 and NC 7-6 project files, ca. 1965-1966.  2.0 linear ft.
Box 120 Small projects, ca. 1950-1990s.  1.0 linear ft.
Project NC 7-1    1975-
Project NC 7-2: "Lee Walker Heights," ca. 1950
Project NC 7-3: "Pisgah View Apartments", ca. 1950
Project NC 7-4: Construction of 238 low-rent housing units, ca.1956
     Hill Crest Apartments
     Home Investment,  FY 1993-1994
     Home Share:  ABCCM  - Low INcome
Project NC 7-6
Oteen Home for the Elderly, June 1976
Proposed public housing, ca. 1981
Purchase of 1720 Old Haywood Road, 1989
Sale of property to H. B. Fergusson Missionary Baptist Church, 1995
West End / Clingman Avenue Area, 1987 - 1996
Airport Clear Zone, early 1990's
Proposed conference center adjacent to Asheville airport, 1993
Box 120A Downtown Area Redevelopment projects, ca. 1978 - late1990's.  1.0 linear ft.
Eagle - Market Street neighborhood
Pack Plaza [South Pack Square]
Biltmore Avenue acquisition
Haywood - Wall Street
8 South Lexington Avenue
South Pack Commons  / "The Block":  Eagle / Market Street Development Corporation
Box 121 Bridge projects  1.0 linear ft.
Arco Road Bridge Improvement Project files ,1985
Hazel Mill Road Bridge project files,  1988-1989
Killian Road Bridge Project files,  1983-1985
Murdock Bridge Project files,  1989
Relocation File, 1989
Pearson Bridge Project files,  1988-1989
Thompson Street Bridge Replacement Project, 1989  [Map]
Delaware Avenue Improvements Project (permanent closure of Old Sand Hill Rd.), 1991-1993
West Chestnut Street Bridge, 1988
Boxes 122-128 Reference Materials  7.0 linear ft.
122-123 National publications  (See Publications)
124 State publications   (See Publications)
125-126 Local publications  (See Publications)
127-128 Additions & interfiles 
Boxes 129-130 PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIA  1.5 linear feet
129 Slides I - - General and not identified as associated with a specific project (scanned)

Slides II - General and not identified as associated with a specific project (scanned)

Photographs III - Specific to Project. See Block and Parcel Location

Block and Parcel Photographs. 
NOTE: Photographic materials are also distributed throughout the collection and will be treated in a separate database (under construction), Many block and parcel folders contain images used in the relocation process and these are specific to the associated block and the parcel .

[See also:  East Riverside Photographs]

130 Photos, slides, negatives (not scanned)
  Loose Photographs (black and white) from Box 44 (East Riverside Project)


Redevelopment Commission Files -
132 General City Files
133 CDBG
134 Downtown Redevelopment

General Information
Wall Street
Kress Building
Bus Stop
Vanderbilt Apartments
Downtown Mall
Bon Marche
Old Ivey's

135 Downtown Redevelopment
     Pack Plaza
136 Downtown Redevelopment
     S. Pack Square


Digitized resources Includes items from the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Records as well as  related collection material specific to the projects contained in the UNCA web location.

 CHAS Information  1992 (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy) for Asheville Regional Housing Consortium


OS2007.12.01.01 MAPS  [Selected]
OS2007.12.01.01 Aerial Photographs
  List of Housing and Redevelopment Commissioners and Housing Authority Directors & Commissioners
  Mayors and City Council Officers, 1955-2007
  Related courses and special projects utilizing HACA resources
GIS information GIS Metadata Dictionary
http://gis.ashevillenc.gov/PublicAccess/metadata/mdd.htm (Currently unavailable as of 2013-04-12)
  HACA Sample Folder for Acquisition Files in the East Riverside Project